Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tip of the Week - Your safety when driving in snow and ice

Please be careful driving on ice and snow covered roads

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never run a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
    Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS) and need to slow down quickly, press hard on the pedal-it’s normal for the pedal to vibrate a bit when the ABS is activated.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Visit AAA’sYouTube page for more videos on winter driving tips.

Barbara Hollis
Capital Insurance Agency of Raleigh, LLC

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tip of the Week - Be safe while shopping online during Cyber Monday


PCI provides safety advice for both businessses and consumer to stay safe while shopping on the web

Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America urges customers to guard their identities, personal information, and businesses on Cyber Monday. Nearly 1/3 of cyber attacks aimed at businesses with 250 employees or smaller and 50% aimed at businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

For consumers / shoppers

  1. Image result for online shopping
    Confirm that the website is legitimate before you give out personal information.  
  2. Look for indicators; “https,” rather than “http,” at the beginning of the URL on a checkout page Prevent access to bank accounts by using a credit card when purchasing online rather than a debit card. Credit cards usually have a limit on your liability for unauthorized transactions. Frequently reviewing bank statements for unauthorized charges is imperative, and report any unauthorized charges or discrepancies to the credit card company as soon as possible.

  1. Use high-quality Internet security software for further protection against cybercrimes indicates that the site is secure. 

For business

  1. Put appropriate security measures in place to protect customers’ personal information.
  2. Make sure appropriate security software and firewalls are being utilized to protect against criminals hacking into the website.
  3. In order to protect the customers and the business, test e-commerce mechanisms and confirm that everything is secure.
  4. Image result for online shoppingConfirm with third-party vendors that they have proper security measures in place, as well.

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Barbara Hollis
Capital Insurance Agency of Raleigh, LLC

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tip of the Week - It's about to be winter time

It is hard to believe it is winter time.

 This is the time of year when a lot of HVAC exchange failure occur reason being is because the thermal fatigue is accelerated by the corrosive combustion gasses that pass through the heat exchanger tubes on their way to the exhaust flue and condensation that may collect in the heat exchanger during heat transfer. Heat exchanger cracks can range in size from a single hair to openings as large as a half inch or more. With a heat exchanger failure comes a claim, but that is not the only thing to be concerned with because cracked heat exchangers can and may release toxic  fumes and gasses throughout your home.

  Therefore, please have your HVAC system serviced regularly.
.  Source: P&C360

Barbara Hollis
Capital Insurance Agency of Raleigh, LLC

Saturday, November 5, 2016

It's Time to choose your health plan!!


Let's get our alphabets out of the way first

CMMS - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  
ACA - Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
CHIP - Children Health Insurance Program                   
HDHP - High Deductible Health Plan
HRA - Health Re-imbursement Account                        
FSA - Flexible Spending Account 
APTC - Advance Premium Tax Credit                          
FPL - Federal Poverty Level
The terms above are common terms you will see when navigating thru enrollment process for medicare and obamacare.

     Open enrollment runs from October 15, 2016 thru December 7, 2016

     Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2016 thru January 31, 2017

See the chart below to see how your income compare to the guideline for ACA

family size 100% 133% 138% 250% 400%
1 $11,880 $15,800 $16,400 $29,700 $47,550
2 $16,020 $21,300 $22,100 $40,050 $64,100
3 $20,160 $26,800 $27,800 $50,400 $84,650
4 $24,300 $32,300 $33,600 $60,750 $97,200
5 $28,440 $37,850 $39,250 $71,100 $113,800
6 $32,570 $43,318 $44,946 $81,425 $130,280
7 $36,730 $48,850 $50,700 $91,850 $146,900
8 $40,890 $54,400 $56,450 $102,250 $160,550

Did you Know...
    that you could penalized up to $695.00 for not signing up for ACA.

To find out your eligibility for ACA please click here
Call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596

Barbara Hollis
Capital Insurance Agency of Raleigh, LLC

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tip of the Week - Halloween Trick or Treat

Here are a few things to keep in mind while celebrating Halloween!

I. Vandalized Vehicles
Your vehicle is more likely to be vandalized on Halloween than any other time according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety- IIHS.  It is a good idea to park in your garage to avoid this kind of claim.

II.  TP'd -toiled papered
On the eve of Halloween pranksters like to toilet paper trees.  Although your home owners insurance will help cover the clean up of this mess please DO NOT use fire to get rid of the toilet paper.  One family in Montgomery, AL used fire to get rid of the toilet paper according the Huffington Post. The family accidently burned down their home trying to clean up the toilet paper, see the details, click here.

III. Dog bites
Even though your best friend "Fido" is usual calm, laid-back, and easy going; he wouldn't hurt a flee; therefore you know he would never bit anyone.  Please keep in mind your dog may get excited when strangers come by especially children getting candy during Halloween.  Some experts say that your best friend could become stressed out during this time, and may possibly bite someone. Click here for some tips on how to avoid dog bites during Halloween.

IV. Burglary
Some of us will not give out any candy for Halloween, but instead go out to a movie to get away from all that Halloween fun.  Burglars take advantage of every opportunity presented.  With this in mind leave lights on while you are out on your getaway, give your home that I am at home look. To deter burglars.  The kids will get over the fact they walked up to get a treat only to get the trick that no one is at home. HAHA..

I hope you find this blog helpful

Barbara Hollis
Capital Insurance Agency of Raleigh, LLC